Red Flag the one to beat in Los Alamitos Futurity

Dec 17, 2020 by James Scully/

Red Flag will make his first start in a Kentucky Derby qualifier when he lines up for Saturday’s $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2). A smashing winner of the Nov. 15 Bob Hope S. (G3) at Del Mar, the 2-year-old colt will face five rivals in his initial two-turn attempt.

The 1 1/16-mile race at Los Alamitos offers points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.

Trained by John Shirreffs, conditioner of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, Red Flag is the from the first crop of sire Tamarkuz, who defeated Gun Runner when capturing the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in his career finale.

Red Flag, who broke his maiden sprinting on turf in his second start, exits a 7 1/4-length romp in the 7-furlong Bob Hope on the main track. The chestnut registered a field-best 92 Brisnet Speed rating, and three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Victor Espinoza retains the mount.

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert has won the Futurity a record 12 times, including the last six editions, and the six-time Kentucky Derby winner will send out Spielberg. Second in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and third in the American Pharoah (G1) as a maiden, the Union Rags colt earned his first win when taking a maiden special weight event two starts back. He will look to improve upon a fourth as the odds-on favorite in the Bob Hope, and Flavien Prat rides.

Grade 2 winner Weston, fifth in the Bob Hope, is also part of the mix. Tyler Baze will be up on the Ryan Hanson-trained gelding. California-bred stakes winner Positivity will try open rivals for Paddy Gallagher. Petruchio and The Great One round out the field.

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